Wall Panelling Tutorial – how we achieved a panelled look in our bedroom

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This time last year I was itching to start work on our bedroom.  We had done the bathroom (read more about that here) and we had redecorated the guest bedroom so I really wanted our bedroom to be sorted out!

As in the spare bedroom, we knew that we would have to replace the ceiling and have some remedial work done since the previous owner had badly patched up damage from a leak. Most problems we discovered have been ‘eye roll moments’.  That’s a completely different subject entirely, and I risk going off on a tangent, so what I really want to talk to you about is wall panelling!

Agent Picture 4
Agent picture of the bedroom before

I love panelled walls.  I love all of the styles.  I love how much texture and structure it can bring to a room and most of all I love that it’s really easy to do yourself!  Here’s how we did ours, step by step.


  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Calculator – maybe I’m judging by my own mathematical standards here?!
  • Spirit Level/Laser Level
  • Mitre Saw/Mitre Block
  • Tenon Saw
  • Wood Glue/Adhesive
  • Wood Primer (I used a water based primer)
  • Decorator’s Caulk
  • Snacks.  Lots of lovely snacks!


Work out what kind of panelling you want in your room.

This may seem like an obvious step, but there are so many different styles to choose from. We have a large window in our bedroom and a picture rail too.  I didn’t want to install a dado rail and so I decided to use the top of the door frame and the window sill as the basis for our panelling.

It really is all in the prep.  I spent some time working out the measurements for each panel.  For example, on the wall where the bed would be I wanted there to be a big panel behind it and two either side.  I measured the bed frame, added 10cm to either side and used that as the measurement for the panel.  I also decided to give 10cm between each panel so they were evenly spaced.  There really is no rule for this and as you start marking on the walls which each section will be, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t.

Wall before – this is the wall I wanted to put the bed against and so I wanted a large panel here
Using a laser level (I had to use a camera tripod and boxes to get the height!) and using the top of the door frame as a basis for the panelling.  
I used masking tape to mark out the edges where the moulding would go so I started to get an idea of how each panel would look

Tip: I used masking tape to mark the panels on the wall.  I’m quite a visual person and wanted to have the tape there to move around if need be rather than use pencil lines on the wall.


Choose, buy and cut your moulding.

This is the fun part! Be prepared to take your time with the preparation as this will make this step a lot more straight forward.

Since we have a picture rail already, I wanted to use moulding that was similar in design but not as thick as the picture rail.  We bought our moulding from Travis Perkins, but you can buy similar from Wickes and B&Q. We used the 21mm size of moulding here.

We did start to cut the moulding with an electric mitre but found that it wasn’t right for the moulding we were using as it wasn’t thick enough and the wood would splinter on the edges.  We used a wooden mitre block and handheld saw instead and that worked really well.

We started with an electric mitre saw but soon moved onto a mitre block and hand saw
Each piece has to be cut at a 45 degree angle to form the box shape so make sure that the measurement you need is on the longest edge

Tip: Each piece of moulding has to be cut at a 45 degree angle to form the box shape, so make sure that the measurement is on the longest edge i.e. not the edge that will go into the corner.


Attach the moulding to the wall.

Use the strongest wood glue you can get! We used one called CT1 (click here to buy) you don’t need a lot of it! Any excess will be tough to get off once it has set so it’s important to wipe any excess straight away.

Laser level still being used to make sure we get it at the right level at the bottom and spirit level used as we are attaching them to the wall

Tip: We used a laser level to make sure that the bottom edge was the same all the way round (tough with a wonky floor too!) but used a hand held level to make sure each edge was level when we were attaching it to the wall.


Prime and caulking time.

I used a water based primer for the wood and caulked in between coats.  With walls as wonky as ours, caulking is vital so that the gaps aren’t on show!  I was so pleased to get to this stage as the room felt like it was coming together.

I used a water based primer on the moulding

Tip: Don’t have the tip of the nib cut too big as too much caulk will come out and then you’ll be left with lots of excess.  Wet your finger and push along the edge gently to smooth the caulk into place.

Caulk, caulk, caulk!


Paint your walls and then admire your handiwork.

There’s nothing quite like that feeling of stepping back and seeing your hard work come together is there?  We managed to achieve the panelled look in less than a day – that included nipping out to buy the mitre block and stopping to eat too, obviously!


Tip: Keep checking to see if the caulk has shrunk (which it will do) and then go over it again between coats of paint.


There you have it – five steps to a beautiful DIY panelled room.  Completely achievable!

If you would like to see more pictures of our bedroom then head over to my Instagram for more. If you attempt this then please tag me in your pics as I would love to see what you do!

Lydia x

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2 thoughts on “Wall Panelling Tutorial – how we achieved a panelled look in our bedroom

  1. Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.


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